Instructional Rounds

Instructional Rounds

The North Andover Public School district has been conducting district-wide Instructional Rounds since 2012. These rounds occur monthly, thus allowing us to visit each of our 8 schools once a year. The rounds are structured in the following manner, based on the Harvard Instructional Rounds model (see Resources and Links):
  • Principal frames the Issue of Practice
  • Groups of administrators and teacher leaders visit 3-4 classrooms in groups of 2-3
  • Individuals document their observations related to the Issue of Practice on sticky notes
  • Two groups (4-6 people) work together to organize their sticky notes into categories
  • Each larger group presents their organized Observation Charts to the entire group
  • The entire group then engages in a Next-Level-of-Work conversation
  • Principal/Administrators from the building being visited share their reactions

We then leave the Principal of the building with the organized Observations Charts and the Next Level of Work suggestions.  Each Principal makes a decision regarding how much to share with the faculty, but in most cases the Principal shares, at a minimum, the Observations Charts with the entire faculty. 

We have three main norms surrounding this work:
  • When in classrooms, smile
  • No hallway conversations
  • No judgment is allowed in our observations
We have found this practice to be a vital part of our work to develop a consistent and rigorous curriculum across our district.